Cranky, Confused, and Ailing: Decoding Common Senior Pet Behaviors

senior dog at oakhurst vet

Senior pets are amazing companions. Whether you’ve had them since they were young or they came to you in adulthood, there’s just nothing like the calm, quiet, reassuring presence of an older cat or dog.

Aging pets are familiar with your ways and the rhythms of the household. They no longer have urges to hop fences, wander the neighborhood or jump on strangers. They are just as content to snuggle with you as they are to sniff around in the backyard. In a sense, they finally become the pets you always hoped for.

But there are certain senior pet behaviors that can cause owners to worry.

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Wowza! My Older Dog Smells Bad!

old dog

Senior pets, or those roughly over the age of 7, make wonderful companions. They are already settled in their personality, have training mastered, and have won us over with their loving ways. There’s nothing better than owning a senior pet, but it sometimes comes with certain conditions that coincide with aging.

If your loveable senior has been smelling like less than a bouquet of roses, there may be an underlying health reason. Let’s get to the bottom of this smelly situation to see why your older dog smells bad and what you can do about it.

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Understanding Heart Murmurs in Pets

Dog at oakhurst vet nj

The moment when one of our trusted veterinarians at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital looks up at you and asks, “Has anyone ever mentioned to you that your pet has a heart murmur” is enough to cause most people’s heart to sink. A heart murmur can’t be good news, can it?

All heart murmurs in pets are not created equally, however, and most of them don’t mean imminent demise. Understanding what heart murmurs in pets mean can help you to take better care of your furry patient.

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4 Reasons To Say Yes To Dog Diapers

dog wearing diaper

We are all familiar with diapers. Whether they are used at the beginning of life, or the end, diapers are an indispensable part of certain times of life. But did you know that there are diapers made especially for dogs?  

At Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital, we want the very best quality of life for our pet patients. In some cases, this might mean the use of dog diapers. Read on to learn 4 reasons to say yes to dog diapers for your pet. 

What Are Dog Diapers? 

Let’s start with the basics. Dog diapers are almost exactly like baby diapers, with a hole for the dog’s tail. Like baby diapers, there are both cloth and disposable dog diapers. Cloth diapers cost more initially but are reusable. Disposable diapers are easy to use but end up in the landfill, and costs add up over time. 

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No Friends of Mine: All about FeLV and FIV

orange cat

Cats are pretty resilient, always landing on their feet and whatnot. There are some things that even cats can’t be totally safe from, such as a few diseases that, despite the miracles of modern medicine, can make the healthiest cat crumble.

In particular, infection with the viruses that cause feline leukemia (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency syndrome (FIV) can be devastating. Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital knows how horrible these diseases can be and want cat owners everywhere to know how to best protect their pets from FeLV and FIV. 

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When It Comes to Pet Lumps and Bumps, Should You Wait… Or Worry?

A red-ish lump on a dog's leg.

Whether it has arrived suddenly or has been growing slowly over time, it’s natural to be concerned about a lump or bump on your pet. There are going to be questions about what caused the growth, and how it might complicate a pet’s health and comfort. However, one of the best things owners can do about pet lumps and bumps is have them examined as soon as possible.

Incredibly Common

It is recommended that pet owners take note of pet lumps and bumps when first observed. If it is larger than a pea and sticks around for a month or more, it’s time to figure out what’s going on. While they can definitely be harmless, it’s a good idea to keep ahead of pet lumps and bumps.

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Hospice Care for Pets

A close-up of a black dog with graying fur sleeping on a pillow

Approaching the end of life with our best pet friends is not something any of us look forward to. But sadly, our pets seldom outlive us. Thinking about our wishes and hopes for our pets’ last days is an important and compassionate thing to do. 

When our pet receives a diagnosis of a terminal illness or has a permanently debilitating condition it can be hard to know where to turn. Our pets are family, and these discussions can be difficult at best, and devastating at worst. That’s why Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital offers hospice care for pets. 

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Pet Loss: What to Expect When it’s Time to Say Goodbye

dealing with pet loss sick dog

When we adopt a pet, we are well aware of the likelihood that we’ll probably outlive them. Regardless, nothing can prepare a pet owner for the devastation that follows the loss of a beloved companion animal. Coping and healing during and after pet loss involves honoring your pet in a way that is meaningful to you, and seeking support from trusted family, friends, and your Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital team.

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Doing Battle Against Kidney Disease in Cats

cat eating

In veterinary medicine there are some enemies that we fight more often than others. In our feline patients we see many affected by things like inflammatory bowel disease, lower urinary tract inflammation, and diabetes mellitus. Perhaps no diagnosis is a common in our furry patients, however, as kidney disease in cats.

Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital thinks all friends of felines should know a little about kidney disease and how to effectively do battle. Kidney disease in cats may be a formidable foe, but it is one that we can put up a good fight against.

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Coping With Pet Loss

Coping with pet loss is as difficult as losing best friend or family member.

Nothing can compare with the deep sadness and feeling of loss that accompanies the passing of a pet. Even though most of us know that we won’t outlive our pets, the loss of the familiar face, personality, and daily interaction can be devastating.

Unfortunately, our society doesn’t take the grief and trauma of pet loss as seriously as it should. So when the time comes to say goodbye to our pet, it can feel as if there is no support and few resources for processing our sadness.

At Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital, we’ve found that taking the time to to honor your pet in a way that is meaningful to you as well as seeking support where you need it can help your family cope and adjust.  

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